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Worship Series: Psalms - For the Season of End Times
Worship Theme: Psalm 100 - Give Thanks!
First Lesson & Sermon Text: Psalm 100 (EHV)
Second Lesson: Philippians 4:10-20 (EHV)
Gospel: Luke 17:11-19 (NIV)
Music: CW 609 We Praise You, O God, Our Redeemer, Praise God!, CW 615 We Thank You for Your Blessings, The Apostles’ Creed, CW 611 For the Fruit of His Creation (in worship folder)
Salem Band Students: Give Thanks
Handbells: Now Thank We All Our God and Give Thanks
Message Notes & Growth Group Questions
Watch the livestream beginning at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, November 25. After the livestream is finished, the video will be available to watch at any time.
Message: Psalm 100 - Give Thanks!
Pastor Jon Brohn
How thankful are you feeling this Thanksgiving? I ran across an article entitled, “You have permission to not be thankful this Thanksgiving.” The author, whose last name, ironically, is Hope, has thrown in the towel on gratitude this Thanksgiving. Listen to what she wrote:
I am incapable of feeling the joy that has, for every Thanksgiving prior to 2020, accompanied me to the homes of friends and family. There will be no road trips, no extended family hugs, no old friends in town visiting and reminiscing over a tall cold one, no spontaneous moments featuring new characters. This year is all plot twists without the comic relief.
I have landed in a new place this year, one where it's perfectly acceptable to want people to take their gratitude and shove it up this year's pathetically small turkey cavity.
Yes, I retain the right to feel full-on Scrooge this year, and I invite you to join me.
After all, forcing yourself to feel happy or gracious — when you simply don't — isn't a helpful thing to do. Forced positive thinking, in fact, does not make you happier, according to experts.
“The practice of gratitude has become popular in recent years, and it can be valuable, but not as a forced one,” said Thandiwe Dee Watts-Jones, a clinical psychologist and faculty member at the Ackerman Institute, a family therapy institute in New York City...
In the spirit of Festivus for the rest of us, and celebrating the anti-holiday to air grievances rather than pleasantries, I hereby rename Thanksgiving 2020 "Grumpstaking," whereby we allow ourselves to feel whatever range of negative emotions we d*** well feel like feeling without the pressure to proclaim all that we're grateful for.
In light of the way 2020 has gone, I can’t blame her. I think most Americans feel the same way. She’s right on target when she says that “forcing yourself to feel happy or gracious—when you simply don’t—isn’t a helpful thing to do.” You’re not being honest with yourself or anyone else. Is that how you’re feeling this Thanksgiving? If you are, I can 100% understand. Depending on the time of day, I start off frustrated, slide into contentment for a little while, and end up just plain cranky. As we look at Psalm 100, God points out that Thanksgiving really has nothing to do with the feeling of gratitude. Notice how the psalmist introduced it. He called it “A psalm for giving thanks.” It’s not about how I feel at Thanksgiving. It’s all about GIVING thanks.
Psalm 100 is filled with action words! Let’s quickly run through it and see how many things we are called to do as we give thanks.
- Shout to the LORD with joy!
- Serve the LORD with gladness!
- Come before him with joyful songs!
- Know that the LORD is God!
- Enter his gates with thanksgiving and praise!
- Give thanks to him!
- Bless his name!
Check it out—our celebration is about ACTION, not FEELING. Our action—giving thanks—is also not based on feelings. Giving thanks is a reaction to God’s actions for us. “He made us, and we are his. We are his people” (Psalm 100:3 EHV). If you have had a hard time giving thanks for anything in 2020, maybe give thanks for the gift of your life. “For you created my inner organs. You wove me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and my soul knows that very well” (Psalm 139:13–14 EHV). You and I are unique creatures. We are God’s hand knitted masterpieces. He wrote every last character of DNA that makes you who you are. He numbered the hairs on your head and chose the color. He picked the color of your eyes and the shape of your ears. He decided how tall (or short) to make you. He gave you your own sense of humor and selected just the right laugh to go along with it. God made each one of us. That makes him our Father, and we are his “people,” his family!
With another picture, the psalmist says, “We are...the sheep of his pasture” (Psalm 100:3 EHV). As God’s sheep, he is there to provide everything we need. What will your Thanksgiving table look like tomorrow? If it’s anything like ours, there will be plenty to eat. The table will almost groan under the weight of dishes piled high with our favorite foods. Where does all that come from? The store? Farms and fields? The Good Shepherd provides it all, and we “lack nothing!” (Psalm 23:1 EHV).
The Good Shepherd also protects the sheep of his pasture. With him on the lookout, nothing can take us by surprise. Nothing can snatch us away from him. He walks with us, even “through the valley of the shadow of death,” but not even death can separate us from our Good Shepherd. We are truly “the sheep of his pasture.”
Even if we don’t feel very grateful today, God has given us plenty of reasons to GIVE thanks. 1. “Shout to the LORD with joy, all the earth” (Psalm 100:1 EHV). We practiced that on Saturday and Sunday! GIVING thanks means shouting our thanks. We can let it rip and make all kinds of noise as we GIVE thanks to God. Think about that in the readings and responses we have today. Let’s make some more noise!
Here’s the second way we can GIVE thanks to God. 2. “Serve the LORD with gladness” (Psalm 100:2 EHV). Serve him gladly at your job. Use the gifts and talents God gave you to the best of your ability. Serve your boss, your co-workers, and your company. That’s serving the LORD with gladness! Serve him at school by listening to your teachers and absorbing your lessons. That’s serving the LORD with gladness. Whatever you are doing, wherever you are doing it, do it gladly for the LORD!
The third way to GIVE thanks to God? 3. “Come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalm 100:2 EHV). Use the gift of music, whether singing, or playing, or turning on the radio or a streaming app. Find music that expresses the wonderful things God has done for you. Maybe you listen to KTIS and the Christian songs that play all day long. You might choose a playlist filled with familiar hymns on your favorite streaming platform. Maybe you’ll pull out the vinyl and play old Christmas classics that bring back memories of past Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations. It’s all good! Let all of your music GIVE thanks to God!
4. “Know that the LORD is God!” (Psalm 100:3 EHV). There’s only one way to know that—spend time in God’s Word! What does your routine for spending time in God’s Word look like? If you have a regular plan, fantastic! Keep it up! Know that the LORD is God! If you don’t have a routine, try the SOAP method. Read some Scripture—whatever you choose. Make an Observation and write down what you noticed about that verse. Take a few minutes and see where it Applies to your life. Finally, Pray about it. Know that the LORD is God by spending time in his Word!
Sometimes, instead of GIVING thanks to God we take everything he gives for granted. Are you like this guy? Show video clip “Taken for Granted.” Sometimes we take things for granted because we forget this simple truth: “For the LORD is good. His mercy endures forever. His faithfulness continues through all generations” (Psalm 100:5 EHV). The LORD is good. Nothing can change that. Not COVID. Not losing a job. Not quarantining. Not online church or school. Not cancer. Not depression. Nothing!
Struggling with that? His mercy—his CHESED covenant love—endures forever. He made that clear for us when he sent Jesus to be our Savior. God had to do something about our struggles, our lives that drifted away from him, the death that hung over us like a curtain. Jesus came. His mercy drove him to be perfect. His mercy held him on the cross. His mercy burst forth from the grave with victory over death in tow. Jesus’ mercy and faithfulness doesn’t go away. It’s there for us, for our children, our grandchildren, our great grandchildren, and right on down through every generation.
Are you ready to GIVE thanks to God? We still have three more ways to react to God’s giving! 5. “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, his courtyards with praise” (Psalm 100:4 EHV). That was part of worship at God’s temple—the people would follow the Levites through the temple gates. As they entered, their voices filled the temple complex with words of thanksgiving and praise. We’re doing the same as we gather this Thanksgiving Day. We wouldn’t even be here today without God’s mercy and faithfulness. Thank you LORD! We praise you for all that you’ve done for us!
6. “Give thanks to him” (Psalm 100:4 EHV). Lord, I’m giving you thanks today. I want you to have my reaction to your love and mercy. Finally, last but not least, 7. “and bless his name” (Psalm 100:4 EHV). What better way to give thanks than to always have Jesus’ name ready for those who need to hear it. “What are your Thanksgiving plans?” “I am so thankful to Jesus that we are healthy and we are celebrating Thanksgiving as a family this year.” “Jesus has been so kind to us—we had COVID but are so much better now. We are thankful for his healing! Every time we have the opportunity to give Jesus credit for the blessings in our lives we are “blessing his name.” Use those opportunities to “name-drop” whenever you can, and watch what Jesus is able to accomplish!
Today whether we feel thankful or not, remember, Thanksgiving is not about feelings. It’s about actions. Remember everything God has done for you. Then, take time to GIVE thanks to God, and have a blessing-filled Thanksgiving! Amen.